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Middleby Corporation was a designer and manufacturer of commercial food processing and food service equipment for fast food as well as high-end restaurants. During the latter half of the 1990s, Middleby became increasingly unfocused as its number of product lines increased dramatically. Margins and sales slipped. At the same time, some of the company's high-profile product development initiatives ended in failure. Although Middleby's top management recognized some of these apparent warning signs, rather than take action, they seemed eager to blame the disappointing results solely on the company's overseas operations. This inaction caused Middleby's financial performance to deteriorate further, resulting in violations of its loan covenants. To finally correct the situation, Selim Bassoul was moved from his role as general manager of Middleby's Southbend plant ...